Tying a quilt gives the blanket an overall homey feel. The spacing between the ties leaves for larger, raised squares instead of the tight stitching of some quilts. For beginning quilters, this is a nice way to learn and practice piecing the backing, batting and quilted sections together. Errors are easily rectified and you have a chance to alter the layout if you do not like how the tying comes together. When picking the appropriate material to tie the quilt you want to consider the overall style and color scheme of your project.
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Crochet Thread or Embroidery Cotton
Crochet thread or embroidery cotton give you the freedom to choose from an array of colors but also a variety of thicknesses. Otherwise known as floss, these strings can be easily strung through the material and batting with a needle. The weight determines the thickness of the floss such that 3 is a thin thread while 10 is a thick thread. Floss pulls apart into separate strands so you can make the thickness to your specific preference or mix and match the threads to flare the color at each tie. Because of its design for embroidery, the knots stay very secure. No matter what thickness you choose, this thread will be less thick than yarn and will lay more flat.
Wool yarn is very coarse which bodes well for making a knot stick. The yarn comes in a variety of colors, but not quite as many as floss. Because of the coarse nature of wool, it can be difficult to get through thicker materials, such as denim or corduroy. For thinner quilts, wool yarn adds a nice texture to the ties. Use as thick of a needle as possible to work the yarn through the material and batting. Due to the thick nature of the yarn, it is difficult to undo any work, as the holes in the material tend to still be noticeable.
100 Percent Cotton Yarn
Cotton yarn also works to tie together quilts. The yarn tends to irritate the skin less and makes the overall feel of the quilt softer. While the yarn stays tied well, it can tend to fray if you wash the quilt often. Cotton yarn is not an ideal choice for things like baby quilts due to how often the quilt gets dirty, whereas it does work well for quilts that stay on couches or other inside locations.
You can choose to use any other type of yarn to broaden the feel, thickness and color options. If the yarn is polyester-based, be careful with the knots, as the yarn has a tendency to slip. You can help keep the knots secure by doing a solid square knot or a double knot. The nice part of polyester is that it tends to stay solid instead of fraying and it holds up to washing very well.